Gay Dad Life

Kid-Friendly Drag Shows? Yes, Please!

My family attended our first drag brunch recently. It was a holiday affair, advertised as a family-friendly event where Santa Claus would make a very jolly and gay appearance. To be honest, it felt a little strange bringing my two and four-year old children into an environment that's usually reserved for cruising and after-midnight merriment. And yes, there was some side-eye from the elder gays, rallying for their noon meet-up after what was undoubtedly an evening of college boy cruising and dollar give-a-ways at the go-go bar.


But damn be the side-eye! Living in a rural area, when I have the opportunity to expose my children to my community, you'd better be sure we'll be there. There were six children in attendance, and the lovely Nina West made it a point to talk with each of them, exuding a sassy kindness we expect from our drag superstars. My daughter sat in her seat, asking for more tickets (apparently what she now calls dollar bills) to hand to the ladies as they walked by lip-syncing to their favorite holiday tunes.

For gay and lesbian parents, it becomes too easy to fall into that typical "gay" agenda – praying the children let you sleep until 7:00 a.m., feeding and dressing them, taking them to pre-school, going to work, picking them up, feeding and bathing them, and then passing out, only to start the whole agenda afresh tomorrow. We become disconnected from our community – especially if your sense of gayness coming of age was wrapped in a Show Tunes Mondays veil of bar identity. Welcoming us into our former gathering spaces, with our children, not only brings a familiar sense of home but allows our children to normalize our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and feel comfort and warmth in a space that isn't a typical learning environment.

There will always be those who say they go out to experience a good time, and a two-year old screaming with a dinosaur, in a space that is usually reserved for Hollister and Axe Body Spray, has no place blocking their server from bringing them a much-needed Bloody Mary. But I would argue, we need those runny noses and 4T dresses now more than ever. Our community is changing. Gay spaces are no longer about finding a safe space, but are now venues that can expand and inspire our growing community. We can marry. We can have children. For the 21-year old coming to the big city for the first time from his family farm, we're showing that your dreams are limitless. You certainly don't have to conform with society and manifest a heteronormative lifestyle, but if you want to raise children and jointly file a tax return with someone, you can do it.

But be sure, we'll only come on those days we're invited. On our once-a-year night away from the children, there is nothing better than throwing back a few drinks, watching music videos of people we've never heard of, and, invariably, talking about our children the entire evening. The invitation, however, now and then, to return with children is much appreciated. And it's not about finding that perfect dress or shirt so they gays don't judge them, but allowing my children to be a part of my community. After all, they may grow up to be straight. And allies with an intimate knowledge of the entire LGTBQ experience are invaluable. Their dedication to what is just and right will always win over those bachelorette parties. And guess what, we've taught them to tip better too.

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Gay Dad Life

Keep Your Little Ones Eating Healthy During the Holidays

David and Danny, founders of Kekoa Foods, share some tips for how to keep your tots healthy and happy during the holidays

Meet David and Danny fathers and founders of Kekoa Foods sharing some tips on how to keep your little ones eating their healthy vegetables during the hecticness of the holidays.

Keep Your Little Ones Eating Healthy Vegetables During the Holidays youtu.be

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Gay Dad Family Stories

We'd Fly Across the World for Our Baby Boy

As two gay dads prepare to take on a new adventure–launching a baby food business–they reflect on the path that got them there.

As we prepare to launch our next life adventure – a baby food business – we've been taking time to reflect on our journey. From softball in Chelsea, to flying 5,000 miles for the birth of our son, to turning our passion for childhood nutrition into a company, it's been nothing short of an epic fairytale.

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Gay Dad Life

From Stay-at-Home Dad to Work-at-Home Dad

In our latest Daddy Square podcast, Craig Sauer explains how being a stay-at-home gay dad is tougher in some ways than a "traditional" job

Don't mislead yourself: Stay-at-Home parenting is a full-time job - or more. It may be even tougher than the 'traditional' job because there're no days off, no sick days, no Medical, Dental and Vision coverage and no bonuses at the end of the year. Nevertheless, many dads choose to stay at home to take care of the kid(s). Some of them do it out of need to give their kids the 100% care they've always wished for, others do it as a part of a complete change in their life's direction.

We spoke with Craig Sauer, who chose to stay at home and take care of his three kids until they were old enough that he could follow his passion of photography and turn it into a business involving 3D Real Estate photography. Craig talked about being jobless before the kids came along and what part that played in his committing to be a stay-at-home dad, his full-time daddy job, and the transition to being a WAHD: Work At Home Dad.

Craig says that having a stay-at-home dad can result in some guilt in the partner. Therefore, he advices to couples who consider having one of them stay at home to have the roles of each one of them clearly defined before the baby comes.

"Not that one person has to do everything," Craig explains, "but it will be easier if one person will be Chief Management Officer of the household.

"One of the choices that we made was that I was up all night with the kids, and I was like 'don't be guilty, go sleep. I need you to be able to make your decisions for your job to bring us money, and when I'm stumbling through the day so you'll be able to say hey I think you're boiling the baby instead of the dinner' or something. So going into this with those roles agreed upon and defined was really helpful to us."


Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Craig Sauer, Craig Sauer 3D
Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here
Articles referred to in this episode:
Most Americans say children are better off with a parent at home (Pew Research Center)
The Amazing Journey These Gay Dads Took To Build Their Family (Huff Post)
Stay-at-home moms turning into WAHMs (CNN)
Daddy Square: The Podcast, Episode 2
'The everyday sexism I face as a stay-at-home dad' (BBC)


World Adoption Day, taking place this year on Friday, November 9, is always an exciting opportunity to celebrate gay, bi, trans dads who created their families through adoption. But as our friends and supporters at Dove Men+Care like to remind us, this is also a great opportunity to consider the impact a national paid paternity policy could have on all our families, especially adoptive and LGBTQ ones. Driving the conversation beyond our Father's Day partnership, Dove Men+Care continues to be committed to championing paternity leave for dads everywhere, spotlighting the importance of taking as much time as you can during those early moments with your new child.

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Why This Gay Dad Always Dreaded Parent-Teacher Conferences

With his kids well into their twenties, Jim Joseph gets nostalgic watching friends post back-to-school images of pics of their kids trick-or-treating. One thing he doesn't miss though? The dreaded parent-teacher conference.

I know that social media has gotten a lot of flak in the last couple of years, mostly because of its political tendencies and political, shall we say, drama. Sure, I'm acutely aware of that. But there's a part of social media that is still exceedingly fun and rewarding, and I've been enjoying it a lot lately.

It's been so much fun seeing all of my friends and colleagues with their families during this year's back-to-school and Halloween festivities. School uniforms, backpacks, bake sales, fundraisers, and, of course, Halloween costumes.

I'm getting the chance to relive the years when I did all of that when my kids were young (they are now well into their '20's now!). I miss it. A lot.

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Fun

Cutest Pumpkins in the Patch: Gay Dads and Their Kids

Our Instagram feeds are filled with flannel shirts, pumpkin patches, ghords, and scarecrows, so you know what that means... Time for this year's round up of pumpkin patch photos of gay dads and their kids!!

Pumpkin spiced lattes ain't got nothing on this favorite fall outing: the annual trip to the pumpkin patch! While pumpkins are nice and all, let's be real: we're into this autumnal outing for the photo op. ;) Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Single Parenting

Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said.

Kyle Ashworth has four kids from a previous straight relationship. After ten years of marriage, he came out to his wife. "It was the most painful and wrenching experience of my life," said Kyle. "In the cold morning hours that coming-out-day in March, I began a journey of authenticity and honesty." Today, Kyle is 36 years old and ready to live his next chapter. But before we get to that, we need to look back at what led him to where he is now: an out and proud single gay dad.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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